Saturday, October 12, 2013

Mountain Hawks Don't Win With Style Points, But Still Win, 24-10

Brazilian soccer fans are one hard to please bunch.

It's not enough for the soccer nation that brought us Pele, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho to simply win their soccer games against the rest of the world: to the high-maintenance fans of the seleção, every game involving the Brazilian nation team needs to had flair and panache: style points.  They can still win, but if they win boring, the fans become restless.

Similarly, Lehigh fans looked to the Mountain Hawks to go up to the upper tip of Manhattan and heap on a stylish win filled with scoring, crispness, and focus.  For some Lehigh fans, Saturday's game wasn't supposed to be about the win, it was about the style of the win.

If they were looking to win on style, they didn't get that.

But more importantly, the Brown and White did get the win, notching a 24-10 victory, inching closer to their goal of a Patriot League title and the all-important autobid.

It wasn't crisp, and it wasn't pretty, but it was enough to allow Lehigh to cross the George Washington Bridge with a 5-1 record.

Friday, October 11, 2013

CFB Week 7 Lehigh Fan Viewing Guide

It's that time of the week where I share with you your weekly Lehigh fan viewing guide for Week 7 of the college football season.  Why go to website after website when all the information you need is right here?

Last week, I was so busy hyping up Lehigh/Fordham that I forget to post my weekly viewing guide.

As a result, Lehigh lost.

This is reason enough for my viewing guide to make a comeback.

If you are not able to attend you can follow the game from the following sources:

TV:  NBC Sports Network

Dish Network-Channel 159

Direct TV-Channel 220

Online Streaming: NBC Live Extra (free with subscription to NBC Sports Network)

Radio:   ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320

Internet:  Lehighsports.com/ESPNLV.com

Game Breakdown: Lehigh at Columbia, 10/12/2013

After a week of silence throughout both the Lehigh and Columbia camps, finally, on a Friday, a good old-fashioned media blitz comes through to make my Game Breakdown easier.

Of course there's my first choice of news, Jake Novak's excellent Roar Lions blog, which pointed me to a piece from the student-run Columbia Spectator that gave some late, critical information on this weekend's game.

And then there was the Today Show on NBC nationwide, where the Columbia football team had a segment talking a little bit about the football team and the game this weekend as well, even if Al Roker seemed a lot more engaged regarding dropping a Ylvis reference for the song "What Does the Fox Say?" with the Baby Blue cheerleaders instead of analyzing the Lions' chances this weekend.

Another thing Al missed was that the weather report for tomorrow has turned quite a bit better, with the game turning to a partly-cloudy, 10% chance of rain sort of afternoon for kickoff.  There's a decent chance, even, at sun to go with unseasonably high 70 degree temperatures.

Let's get right to the breakdown and fearless prediction.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Game Preview, Lehigh at Columbia, 10/12/2013

(Photo Credit: The Daily Princetonian)

It's very rare to be able to see a non-conference opponent on the football schedule and be able to compare them completely to your own team.

Non-conference opponents, of course, are not teams from your own division which you are expected to be able to compare yourself against.

Columbia's non-conference schedule going into their nationally-televised game against Lehigh consists of three games: one against Fordham, one against Monmouth, and one against Princeton.

It means that Columbia head coach Pete Mangurian, and Lehigh head coach Andy Coen, will be very familiar with their opponents this week.  Not only will they be able to recall last year's game at Murray Goodman in terms of personnel, but they'll also be able to pull game film on three common opponents to get the tendencies of both teams.

One thing that neither team will be to one another is a surprise.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Of Race, Rugs, Respect and Responsibility

As a writer of independent media coverage of Lehigh athletics, mostly focusing on football, I feel like I am a part of "media coverage" when it comes to something that happens at Lehigh, good or bad.

In a sense, I don't separate myself from what the Morning Call does or the Express-Times does merely because I'm a blogger and they are employees of media organizations.

But when people take exception with how a Lehigh story is handled, especially as it regards to the football team, I try to understand the concerns - especially when it treads in very tough or sensitive territory.

I think it's worthwhile to tell the world my side of how I covered a sensitive story in an effort to talk about what goes into the reporting.  Putting on a brand-new hat for myself - a sort-of Lehigh Valley press ombudsman - I'll try to explain the decisions I made in covering the story, and attempt to look at how other organizations covered the story and acted.

Given the fact that a campus movement has arisen at least somewhat based on this coverage, I think it's worthwhile, and necessary.

I don't know how anyone is going to take this, but it does have the benefit of being the truth, and I'm hoping the truth might play a part in any campus discussions.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Monday, October 07, 2013

My Vote for the FCS Top 25, 10/7/2013

My vote for the FCS Top 25 for the week ending 10/7/2013 follows below the flip.

But firstcheck out this great picture from the Fargo Dome last weekend as the other battle of unbeatens, Northern Iowa against North Dakota State, unfolded.  (Photo Credit: David Samson/The Forum)

The battle of unbeatens in the Missouri Valley lived up to its billing, but also had an awful injury to Panther LB Jake Farley, who had to leave with UNI ahead 23-17 with 5 minutes remaining with a broken leg that will likely sideline the all-American candidate.

As if that wasn't bad enough for his father, head coach Mark Farley, he then had to then endure watching the Panther lead slip away in the final minutes, as the Bison completed the come-from-behind win to pull it out, 24-23.  It would be the Bison's first lead of the game, and one that would hold up.

Lehigh's Day of Busted "Pride" One To Forget in the Big Apple

(Photo Credit: Howard Smith/USA Today Sports)

So on the morning of October 5th, I got out of bed.

The Lehigh football team was undefeated, of course.

WR Ryan Spadola was a receiver on the NFL's New York Jets, and by many indications was in line for more playing time on the biggest of stages, Monday Night football.

And G C.J. McCollum, after ripping up the NBA summer league for the Portland Trailblazers, seemed poised to enter the NBA season with a flourish, maybe even competing for Rookie of the Year.

By the end of my trip to the Big Apple, all three dreams were shattered.

Athletically, most Lehigh people of all stripes had three things in which they take an immense amount of "pride" - the football team, successful on the field for so long, the battle of Ryan Spadola against the odds to make the 53 man roster of the New York Jets, and the first Lehigh player ever taken in the NBA draft, C.J. McCollum.  By the end of Saturday, Lehigh's "pride" had been run over by a truck on the upper level of the George Washington bridge.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

The Bronx Cheers As The Mountain Hawks Fall, 52-34

(Photo Credit: Justin Lafleur/Lehigh Athletics)

It was a real Yankee crowd in the Bronx this afternoon - a sellout, overflow Bronx crowd of over 7,800.

Without a Yankee postseason to worry about, the nationally-ranked Fordham Rams had something they hadn't had on an October afternoon in a very long time: the undivided sports attention of the local area, playing against another Top 25 team on national television.

When the calls didn't go the Rams' way, the fans stood up the same way they might in New Yankee Stadium, arguing the call.  And when a play didn't have yellow laundry on the field, indeed, the "Bronx Cheer" the Borough made famous did indeed ripple through the crowd.

Not that Fordham needed help from the refs.

The Rams may have had some doubters going into this weekend with their 5-0 record, but there sure aren't any more after a resounding, offensive clinic that made Lehigh pay desperately for two turnovers and ultimately had Fordham go to 6-0 with a 52-34 victory.
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